Sunday, March 17, 2013
Juco OT Eluemunor enjoys visit to PSU
By Josh Moyer
Jermaine Eluemunor craned his neck from the passenger seat of his black SUV. He knew he was close to Penn State, so he hoped to catch a glimpse of the mammoth stadium he had heard so much about.
About a mile or two from campus, the junior college offensive tackle out of Scranton (Pa.) Lackawanna saw Beaver Stadium loom over the rolling hills. He said he actually rubbed his eyes around 10 a.m. to make sure he wasn't dreaming.
"When I saw it, I'm like, 'Damn, that's big.' Then I got up right next to it and I'm like, 'Woah, holy ... ," he said, cutting himself short. "They brought me inside then and I got to walk around and stuff, and I got to take pictures. It was amazing."
Eluemunor spoke with several offensive linemen, watched them lift, toured the facilities, chatted with academic advisers and spoke with head coach Bill O'Brien and offensive line coach Mac McWhorter. But for the prospect, who said this was his first-ever visit to a four-year college, walking inside Beaver Stadium was his favorite part.
The 6-foot-5, 300-pound tackle said he couldn't stop smiling once he stepped out of the south tunnel and stared at the sea of seats and luxury boxes. He thought about the pending visit a lot, but he just couldn't prepare himself for what it would actually be like.
"When you walk in through the gates, it's just like, 'Wow,' " he said, "because you've never seen anything like it before."
Penn State will likely become his measuring stick when it comes to visits elsewhere, and Eluemunor intimated that PSU set the bar high. If he didn't like the school, he said Friday's visit would've been his last to Happy Valley.
Now, he plans on attending at least one spring practice in addition to the Blue-White Game on April 20.
"The visit helped a lot," he said. "I know they can't go to a bowl game, but football isn't all about that. It's also about becoming the best player you can and, me, I want to go to the NFL. So I want to go where I can really develop because I know I'm going to work hard and out-work everyone.
"I want a coach who's going to help me develop, and I talked to Coach Mac before on the phone, but it helped me seeing him in person. It just helped a lot. I like Coach Mac even more now."
Eluemunor said he's currently in talks with Ohio State coaches Urban Meyer and Ed Warriner about visiting sometime during an April weekend. He plans to narrow his list to a top five in late April or early May, and he now hopes to commit by August.
Initially, he scheduled official visits to Ohio State and Texas A&M in October and November. He'll obviously have to reschedule those, but he said he hasn't yet done that. At this point, he's just hoping to go on some visits over the summer -- and he said it's important to see if campus feels like home and if he can form a trusting relationship with the coaches.
So, how did Penn State fare in those two departments?
"I felt at home there, and the coaches were welcoming to me so I got the vibe they really wanted me up there and stuff," Eluemunor said. "I know I can really trust them."